data retention questions

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Jester_ag
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data retention questions

Postby Jester_ag » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:19 pm

I have read a lot about how we need to keep the Financial side of things for 3years. Is there any documentation on how long we need to keep the membership side? move in, move out, changes, etc...

Also does anyone know if it would be allowed to have an all-in-one printer in the clerks office to scan the documents in that are needed then shred them and only keep a softcopy? trying to think of a way to de-clutter and make things more managable. any ideas?

russellhltn
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Re: data retention questions

Postby russellhltn » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:45 pm

Jester_ag wrote:Also does anyone know if it would be allowed to have an all-in-one printer in the clerks office to scan the documents in that are needed then shred them and only keep a softcopy? trying to think of a way to de-clutter and make things more managable. any ideas?


As a guy who does document management systems for a living (and knows clutter), I can't recommend that. If you have problems with paper clutter, you're just going to spend a lot of time migrating it to hard drive clutter. "Clutter" is an organizational issue, and being electronic isn't going to magically make it organized as it takes more effort to organize electronic files. (Full-text searching is nice, but not as magical as some like to think.) I'd suggest you figure out a manual filing system (simpler the better) and stick to that. If you can't do that, it seems unlikely you'd do it electronically.

Some clerks here suggest printing membership transactions as a PDF - so you don't end up with paper in the first place. There is a free PDF printer driver available. Can't beat free.

Then there's the question of how you're going to secure that information. The MLS database is encrypted. Storing unencrypted data on the local hard drive is not a good idea and depending whither a particular policy has been superseded or not - is also against policy.


Jester_ag wrote:Is there any documentation on how long we need to keep the membership side? move in, move out, changes, etc...

That part is pretty much up to you. I've not seen anything firm that says a paper has to be kept. There are a couple of practical considerations. First, you want to make sure to hold on to it until it's been entered, saved, sent and acknowledged by CHQ. That is, that you KNOW it's in the system and not just pending in a place where a malfunction could drop it.

Secondly, MLS keeps very little information about members who move out or any kind of history. (I think it can create a list of moveout for a limited range of time, but that's it.) Sooner or later someone is likely to ask you about something that happened in the last year or two. (When did the Smith family move out? When did we record a new address for Jones?) And MLS won't have that answer. But if you've kept those transaction reports, you can go back though them and dig them out.

Again, simplicity is key. Just file them chronologically and dig though it when you do need a answer.

Just as a suggestion - keep those reports on the same schedule as the Financials. It keeps things simple that way and it seems to be a good balance between keeping too much and not having engouh to answer people's questions.
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drepouille
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Re: data retention questions

Postby drepouille » Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:28 am

In the Help Center, see Retention of Records
https://www.lds.org/help/support/membership/retention-of-records

In the LDSTech Wiki, see Record Retention
https://tech.lds.org/wiki/index.php/Record_retention
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

jirp
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Re: data retention questions

Postby jirp » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:55 am

I will add one thing to the suggestions. For college age keep those records in the hard copy file till the they marry or graduate completely from college. It is really common to need to push and pull their records around with no contact with them and having membership numbers and birth dates makes that a lot easier. The fact that most college wards automatically push the records back to the original home ward whether they have an address or not makes this even more necessary.

TynanMillar
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Re: data retention questions

Postby TynanMillar » Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:06 am

Along those lines, how long should we keep Bishopric Meeting Agenda notes? I had an executive secretary ask this question. I assumed that we would hold them for at least 2 years. but I would like to know a more definitive answer

eblood66
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Re: data retention questions

Postby eblood66 » Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:11 am

TynanMillar wrote:Along those lines, how long should we keep Bishopric Meeting Agenda notes? I had an executive secretary ask this question. I assumed that we would hold them for at least 2 years. but I would like to know a more definitive answer

I believe the guideline for all other records are retained 'as long as needed.' So it's a judgement call. But personally, I don't think I ever looked back at bishopric meeting notes more than a month later. I didn't discard my copies that often but I would periodically shred copies and would generally only retain the last 6 months or so.


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